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Cabin top rail removal?

Dec 27, 2012
584
Precision Precision 28 St Augustine
I would like to strip down and refinish my cabin top rails. The best way to do the job would be to remove them. If I take that approach it would probably be a 2 to 3 day task. It appears that my rails have threaded bolts that go through the cabin top. The nuts are inside the cabin. So it appears that once the nuts are removed you pull or pry the rails off the cabin top. My concern is once removed the cabin would or could take in moisture or rain. I was thinking of temporarily plugging the holes with butyl tape.

Has anyone done that or have a better idea?

I know it would be a good time to enlarge the holes and fill with epoxy but I don’t really want to go down that road.
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2014
7,746
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
You're correct, now is a good time to fill and drill the holes. The cabin top is likely cored and this will protect the core.

If you can really get this done in a couple of days, tape the holes.

I've done this job a couple of times, a few tips.

While the handrails look symmetrical and interchangeable, they are not. Mark them Port and Starboard, Fore and Aft. It will save a lot of time and effort later.

Seal the bottom of the rail with epoxy. This helps to prevent moisture from entering the rail from the bottom up.

Be sure to clean all the old sealant off the cabin top before reinstalling.

You can't put too many coats of good varnish on the rails. The more coats now, the longer it will last.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: ggrizzard

arf145

.
Nov 4, 2010
431
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
When I did that job on my last boat, I just used tape. If your deck is cored there and you don't want to fill and drill, at least check for any prior water intrusion and deal with it while you've gone to all this trouble.
 
Dec 27, 2012
584
Precision Precision 28 St Augustine
If water intrusion exists I will over drill and fill. Brokenarm gave me a idea. I have some of that flex tape onboard. That stuff is super sticky and water resistant. I may cut small pieces to cover.
 

arf145

.
Nov 4, 2010
431
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
Well, I just used duct tape, which worked wonderfully. My concern about the silicone type repair tapes is that they bond to themselves fantastically, but not so well to other stuff.